Chemaphor Inc develops new non-antibiotic growth promoter
Recent studies have confirmed the potential of a product named OxBC
for use as a non-antibiotic, non-hormonal promoter of growth and feed conversion
efficiency in farm animals.
Canadian Biotech company Chemaphor has made significant progress in the development of
their first product for non-pharmaceutical applications based on the oxidised
A pilot study carried out in young pigs by Dr
Daniel Hurnik of the Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince
Edward Island first demonstrated that a low amount of OxBC added to regular
swine feed promotes growth of the animals and improves conversion of feed into
A subsequent collaborative study carried out under
commercial conditions by major industrial companies in the animal health and
feed supply businesses has shown OxBC provides statistically significant
improvements in growth and feed conversion efficiency also in
In these studies OxBC was used at low levels in
non-medicated diets, yet provided growth and feed conversion results comparable
to antibiotic growth promoters. The OxBC growth and feed conversion capabilities
could be used in addition to antibiotics or as an alternative to antibiotics
currently used mainly for growth promotion.
Carotenoids are a family
of approximately 600 highly-coloured compounds that are widely distributed
throughout nature. These compounds are all highly susceptible to oxidation. In
the oxidation process, the parent molecules are destroyed and a very large
number of new compounds are formed. With the exception of just a few of these
oxidation products, and vitamin A in particular, the biological functions of
these products are unknown and have yet to be uncovered.
says that many, if not most, of the biological activities of carotenoids flow
from one of more of their oxidation products, and not from the parent compound
itself. OxBC comprises a mixture of oxidation products obtained directly via the
spontaneous oxidation of beta-carotene and represents a cross-section of the
spectrum of the numerous carotenoid oxidation products that occur naturally in
the plant world.
The company is currently negotiating with major
international and Canadian potential industrial partners to reach a business
agreement to commercialise OxBC in the US, Canada and Europe as a non-antibiotic
and non-hormonal feed additive for livestock.
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